A Tire Hill woman accused in what investigators described as a multi-county drug ring pleaded guilty in federal court on Monday to a charge of conspiring to distribute cocaine.
Nichole L. Rankin, 25, of Krings Street, admitted in U.S. District Court that she was part of a conspiracy to distribute at least 500 grams – more than one pound – of the drug between November 2011 and July 18, 2012, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
The plea could mean decades in a federal prison, depending on Rankin’s prior criminal history, U.S. Attorney David Hickton said.
Rankin and two others were in July 2012. They were accused of bringing drugs from northern Somerset County to Roaring Spring, in southern Blair County.
Laurel Highlands FBI agents, task force agents from Blair, Cambria and Somerset counties, and local officers from Paint Township and Roaring Spring police departments partnered in the investigation and eventual arrests, police said at the time.
Hickton said sentencing has been set for Feb. 18 before U.S. District Judge Kim R. Gibson in Johnstown.